This is a good story right here about Advair. As mentioned the drug company recovered their R and D cost a long time ago, so what do they do next, patent the inhaler for a longer coverage time, since the drug itself is off patent. For a 3 month supply the cost was $1036.00 and then the price went up to $1240.00. Medicare pays most of that price. The cost of the same in ordering from Canada is $250 for the same amount, even less than the co-pay.
In Canada and in the UK drug companies are somewhat regulated on what they can charge but no in the good old USA and sales of Advair were over 8 billion. The couple referenced here had to take out a reverse mortgage too because of the cost of their medications, mainly his wife. Advair is made by GlaxoSmithKline, who by the way is putting some of their older drugs out to bid for private equity firms to bid on and buy. What’s going to happen then, God only knows with PE firms running and managing pharmaceuticals.
Private Equity Firms Exploring Options to Buy Old Drug Brands From GlaxoSmithKline and Sanofi, Glaxo Has Already Opened the Door Asking For Bids From PE Firms
One thing also worth a mention by not going through Express Scripts they don’t have to deal with the predictive analytics data that is created at all the PBMs today either. Everyone thinks they can predict who’s not going to take their meds and plus a little of this is charged into the cost in the US as well.
Express Scripts- New Program to Contact and Predict Patients Who May Not Be Taking Their Medicine Based On Ingenix Algorithms–We Want the Revenue Please Don’t Stop
Consumers are broke and it’s up to the insurers and drug companies to sit down and negotiate, not us. BD
Brent and Henni Christensen consider themselves patriotic Americans and strong supporters of Medicare.
Nevertheless, the Huntington Beach couple buy most of their prescription drugs from an online Canadian pharmacy at prices much lower than in the United States.
In January, the biggest manager of prescription drug benefits for insurers and drugstores, a company called Express Scripts, said it would no longer reimburse Advair purchases because the drug had become too expensive.
This week, Express Scripts said it had cut a new deal with Glaxo and would start reimbursing Advair purchases again next year. It's unclear how the accord will affect prices. Express Scripts said it will classify Advair as a "non-preferred" drug, meaning that patient co-pays will be higher than for preferred meds.
What cost $1,240 in the United States ran about $250 in Canada — even less than their U.S. copay.
Advair's patent protection expired in 2010, but Glaxo's patent on the inhaler used to administer the drug lasts until 2016. There are currently no generic alternatives for the drug.